Quantcast Looking to buy new scanner for family photo prints? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
03-27-2017, 10:56 AM
Drbuzz0 Drbuzz0 is offline
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First of all, let me start off by saying that I do not have an unlimited budget, so anything under $400 works, and anything under 200 is absolutely great and would make me very happy.

I am in the process of archiving family photos. I have a ton of them. They come from every vintage you can imagine and are of every type and quality you can think of.

My grandfather had a Polaroid camera in the 1950's and was fond of using that, so I have a lot of photos that are black and white Polaroids of a very small size (and yes, I know how problematic and low quality polaroids are)

Many prints of black and white film of various vintages and types, a few go as far back as the 1930's. I have a hand-tinted black and white photo of my great grandfather that is printed on some kind of thick, non-glossy paper I am not familiar with and dates to the 1920's.

I have many photos from the 50's and 60's. Most of them are color. A few are black and white. Color is faded in most of the older ones, but not too badly, not beyond the point that a few tweaks could fix it. The color film is of various types. It looks, to me, like most of it is Aktachrome, but there's definitely some Kodachrome in there too. Of course, it can be hard to tell.

A number of the prints date as late as the 1990's, and these are in great shape

Most of the prints are in decent condition. Some fading. Some dust and scratches. The worst are the ones that are firmly adhered to glass.

I have been scanning them with a home scanner, an HP G3310, and I'm very underwhelmed with the results. The scanner seems to bring a lot of imperfections and fingerprints out, despite being barely visible to the human eye. I'm looking for something better for this.

There also seems to be dust under the glass and no matter how many times I have taken it apart and tried to clean it, the dust is back. Yes, I have taken great precautions, cleaning it with gloves an a hair net, in very clean room, but the scanner is just not air tight, and I have a dog who likes to produce dander around the office, so it gets dust in there. It's just not well sealed.

So I'm looking for a scanner with the following features:

1. Won't break the bank
2. Good quality, especially for photos of a variety of types (Glossy, not glossy, new, old)
3. Scanning negatives would be a plus, but not absolutely necessary. MY family did a poor job of keeping negatives, so I have a few, but not many.
4. Another big plus would be if it is an extra large format scanner, larger than a standard document scanner. Given the choice between great photo scanning and large format, I'd take the great photo scanning, but I have some documents I want to scan that will not fit on a standard scanner. For example, my Great Great Grandfather was the mayor of Lymeric Ireland, and when he died, the newspaper printed an entire page on him. I have no way of scanning this except for scanning it at least 6 times and then stitching it back together.

I hope I am not posting an annoyingly rudimentary question here, but I have done a lot of research and It's very very hard to judge the scanners based on their specs and their user reviews (since most users are doing documents and such). I'd really appreciate some feedback from those who actually know.
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  #2  
03-27-2017, 11:42 AM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Buy this: https://www.amazon.com/Epson-Perfect...bf6c4339fe0d1c

I have professional needs, and it meets them. And it's just under $200 -- it used to be more.

The ICE and spot/dust removal are excellent, and the Epson software works well. It does an excellent job on prints and slides. It's passable with negatives, but I use a $600+ Nikon V scanner for that task with Silverfast for Vuescan.

I've been using scanners since 1992. Microtek, Polaroid, Kodak, Nikon, Canon, Epson, etc. I know what I'm talking about.

Some of our family photos are like yours. I was afraid some may be challenging, but was surprised with how well this Epson handled them. I've had some good success with scanning even crappy 70s/80s/90s Polaroids. The Epson scanner recovered colors and details that could not be seen with the naked eye!

I always forget the process used for that 1920s photo, but have some of those as well. I opted to re-tint in Photoshop, and that does look better than the old print.

Stitching in Photoshop really isn't that hard these days. It's amazing how far filters have come. I've been using Photoshop since version 3. Not CS3, but 3, the version released in the early 1990s.

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  #3  
03-27-2017, 12:09 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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I agree with kpmedia, you don't need the latest version of Photoshop Pro. Earlier versions are still around and work just as well as the latest for photo work. But you do need it. Don't even try budget photo apps for this type of project. They don't hold a candle to Photoshop Pro and are a waste of money, time, and effort. You'll be amazed at what PPro can do for old photographs.
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03-27-2017, 06:22 PM
Drbuzz0 Drbuzz0 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
Buy this: https://www.amazon.com/Epson-Perfect...bf6c4339fe0d1c

I have professional needs, and it meets them. And it's just under $200 -- it used to be more.

The ICE and spot/dust removal are excellent, and the Epson software works well. It does an excellent job on prints and slides. It's passable with negatives, but I use a $600+ Nikon V scanner for that task with Silverfast or Vuescan.

I've been using scanners since 1992. Microtek, Polaroid, Kodak, Nikon, Canon, Epson, etc. I know what I'm talking about.

Some of our family photos are like yours. I was afraid some may be challenging, but was surprised with how well this Epson handled them. I've had some good success with scanning even crappy 70s/80s/90s Polaroids. The Epson scanner recovered colors and details that could not be seen with the naked eye!

I always forget the process used for that 1920s photo, but have some of those as well. I opted to re-tint in Photoshop, and that does look better than the old print.

Stitching in Photoshop really isn't that hard these days. It's amazing how far filters have come. I've been using Photoshop since version 3. Not CS3, but 3, the version released in the early 1990s.
Thank you very much for the advice. It's very hit or miss, I've found with scanners. I've had a couple of HP scanners, a couple of Umax scanners, an Epson. It is very hard to tell from the numbers on paper how well it will work out.

Negatives are not so big an issue for me because my family (In this infinate wisdom) seem to have forgotten that negatives are actually something worth archiving.
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03-27-2017, 09:19 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Yes, numbers are often inflated.

HP and Umax are not very good. Most scanners from non-imaging companies are like that.
- HP is for computers/servers.
- Umax is mostly cheap computer accessories (mice, webcams, etc).

Epson is a lot like Canon. Contrary to popular belief, Canon is NOT a "camera company" but rather one that mass markets many electronics (prniters, scanners, video tools, projectors, etc). Just like Epson. Scanning is something that both do well at at, with Epson have a clear edge in quality of the software and hardware.

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  #6  
03-28-2017, 05:59 PM
Drbuzz0 Drbuzz0 is offline
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Well, I got what I could afford at the time, unfortunately.

The scanner you point to looks perfect except for the fact that it's not large format. I have some enormous documents to scan. For example, for some reason the birth and death certificates from Ireland in the 1800's were abut 8 inches wide but 16 inches long. I have a few other things like that. It would be nice to scan them all at once, but if I need to scan them in sections, I can get by with that.
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